Player of the Year 2010 (+poll)
This is the shortlist for Stoppage Time – International Football Blog’s Player of the Year. Who will get your vote?
ANDRÉS INIESTA: What a year it’s been for the Spain and FC Barcelona midfield maestro. Not content with winning a second consecutive league title with his club but he starred in the FIFA World Cup. His goal against Chile ensured Spain’s progress to the Round of 16 following a tough start. In the final against the Netherlands he scored the winning goal (see picture above) and collected the Man of the Match award. One of three candidates to win the 2010 FIFA Ballon D’or.
ARJEN ROBBEN: The Dutchman was the inspiration for FC Bayern München’s run to the UEFA Champions League final as well as helping the Bavarian giants secure the domestic league and cup double in the club’s history. Also featured for the Dutch national team in their second place finish at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Sadly he has been injured for the last three months and his absence has had a negative effect on his team who currently lie a distant 14 points behind Bundesliga table-toppers Borussia Dortmund.
CRISTIANO RONALDO: Although he ended 2010 empty-handed the Portuguese sensation has had an extraordinary year in terms of his contribution to club side Real Madrid. Ronaldo scored 26 league goals in his first season as los Blancos finished just three points behind a resilient FC Barcelona team which could only beat Madrid to the title with a record number of points.
LIONEL MESSI: The little Argentine may not have had a great FIFA World Cup tournament but he was the focal point for the team who tried to give him the ball at every opportunity. At club level, however, Messi continues to excel at FC Barcelona where he won a second league title in 2009-10 scoring 34 goals in La Liga and has chipped in with another 17 goals in the current campaign, including two in the recent 5-0 demolition of Real Madrid. One of three candidates to win the 2010 FIFA Ballon D’or
XAVI HERNÁNDEZ: The Spain and FC Barcelona playmaker has really earned the plaudits following an almost faultless year. Just like Iniesta he was a pivotal figure in his club and national team successes and has chipped in with some important goals such as the brace he got in the 5-0 win over Real Madrid and a goal in last week’s 5-1 win over local rivals RCD Espanyol. One of three candidates to win the 2010 FIFA Ballon D’or.